There are a number of possible outcomes in a criminal case. The case may go to trial and end with a “not guilty” or “guilty” verdict, however most cases will end with a plea deal. In fact, it is estimated that 97% of federal cases and 94% of state cases are resolved with plea bargains. If you are ever charged with a crime, it’s important to understand how plea bargains work. There are three general types of plea deals that can be introduced in a criminal case. Here’s what you need to know:

Charge Bargaining

This type of plea deal can be made when the prosecution is open to negotiating the charges that the defendant will face. For example, let’s say a defendant is charged with assault in the first degree. The prosecution may agree to reduce the charges to assault in the second degree as long as the defendant is willing to plead guilty to this crime. This is probably the most common type of plea deal that is made in criminal court.

Sentence Bargaining

The second type of plea deal involves the negotiation of the defendant’s sentence. If the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the crime he has been charged with, the prosecution will ensure the defendant is given a lighter sentence.

When making this type of deal, the prosecution must consider what the judge will think of the agreement. This is because all plea deals must be approved by the judge presiding over the case. If the judge believes the sentence offered by the prosecution is too light, he may reject the deal.

Fact Bargaining

Fact bargaining is not used in criminal cases very often, but it’s still important to understand how this type of deal works. When this type of deal is made, it means the defendant has agreed to admit to certain facts related to his involvement with the crime. This benefits the prosecution since they will no longer have to provide evidence to prove these facts. In exchange for this admission, the prosecution will agree not to present other evidence in court that could be used to prove the defendant’s guilt.

If you have been accused of committing a crime, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Do not accept a plea deal without speaking to one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys first. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.